This study aimed to explore the relationship between psychological distress and degree of functional independence among elderly adults following the Great East Japan Earthquake. Participants were 20 282 adults aged 65 and older who lived in the Great East Japan Earthquake evacuation zone specified by the government on March 31, 2011. This study is a part of a detailed survey on mental health and lifestyle, the Fukushima Health Management Survey, which was conducted in 2012. Psychological distress was assessed using the Kessler 6 scale. Functional independence in different daily activities was assessed by asking participants whether they could independently perform activities: eating, dressing, toileting, and shopping. According to the multiple logistic regression analysis, psychological distress was significantly associated with independence in all models: without adjustment (Model 1), adjusting for demographic characteristics (Model 2), and adjusting for demographic characteristics and disaster-related factors (Model 3), with an adjusted odds ratio of 2.32 (95% confidence interval = 1.97-2.73). High psychological distress was associated with low functional independence, after controlling for demographic characteristics and disaster-related factors. Thus, using psychological distress as the dependent variable, we examined the relationship between low functional independence and psychological distress among elderly adults who were evacuated.
- Great East Japan Earthquake
- depressive symptom
- frail elderly
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health